June 25, 1999 - Day 20

Grand Junction to Glenwood Springs, Colorado - 89.5 miles, 17.2 mph average, 1216 total miles, top speed not functioning
14 roadkill

I worked until 4:00 a.m. updating the web site and still didn't get done. It is time-consuming.
But I got up around 10:00. By the time I ate lunch (steak dinner at Applebee's - thanks again, Hal and Rosalie) and hit the road, it was about 12:30. 90 miles to Glenwood Springs, but following the Colorado River all the way, which means "flat". And supposedly a strong tailwind.

Huge Rock Formation
Huge rock formation at Grand Junction: is this the bookEND of the Book Cliffs?

I have followed the book cliffs more or less all the way from Green River, Utah to Grand Junction. At Grand Junction, Rte. 50 splits from Rte. 6. Rte. 50 follows the valley of the Gunnison River to the south and east and Rte. 6 follows the Colorado River to the north and east. So I said goodbye to Rte. 50 and headed on up Rte. 6, which parallels I70.
I averaged more than 17 mph today, my highest average mph of the trip. Biking was F-U-N, not to mention beautiful.

Colorado River Valley
Rte 6 follows the Colorado River and its valley out of Grand Junction. It's very beautiful.

Garfield County Sign, Backed by rock
Entering Garfield County

And then... Three flat tires!! I can't tell you how frustrating this is getting. Especially on a day of such scenic beauty and perfect bicycling conditions.
Same old problems. The pump I bought back in Price, Utah was a $25 piece of junk. I could never get more than 40psi into the tire (should be 100). So I used the last of my C02 cartridges on my first flat.

Joe and Marian Clugston
Joe and Marian Clugston and their dog Trapper at the Gasamat in Rifle

My second flat was just east of Rifle and about 200 yards from the Gasamat, run by Joe and Marian Clugston. I walked my bike down the road to their station. From the moment I saw this place by the side of the road, it looked like somebody's "home", and it was. Joe and Marian settled here from the midwest about 10 years ago and they love their life. There was a steady stream of traffic into their little old gas station and Joe knew just about every customer by name. Joe is a Rifle booster, on the town council; he thinks this is the best place on earth to live, and I'm not sure I could argue with him. I think when you find your place on this earth and you know it, you are very lucky.

Four Transportation Routes
Evening approaching Glenwood Springs
As dusk approached, I was about five miles from Glenwood Springs. This picture shows four major transportation routes of history:

From left to right-

Trivia question: Of the four, one is natural and three are man-made. Which are permanent and which are temporary thoroughfares?
(*Answer below)

My third flat of the day came just as I was pulling into the West Glenwood Springs motel district. It was almost dark and the flat deflated me as much as the tire. I had wanted to roll through Glenwood and find a nice little motel.
Instead I had to settle for what was right there, the 1st Choice Inn of Glenwood Springs. It was the most expensive place I stayed so far and I liked it about the least. It used to be a Holiday Inn, and it was just too big to maintain, and I didn't see anybody who really cared anyway. Just take them tourist bucks.

By the time I got into my room on this Friday night, took a shower and got cleaned up, all the restaurants in walking distance were closed. I had a tuna sandwich, half a can of Pringles and a pint of Haagen Daaz butter pecan from the 7/11 for dinner. Not the best.
I called my friends, Dick and Helen Lindow who live just about 25 miles up the road in the small town of Gypsum. It turns out Dick is coming into town tomorrow. He will pick me and the bike up, take me to a bike shop, and then we'll go over to the fabulous Glenwood Hot Springs for the bulk of the day. MMMMMmmmmmm. Yes.

*Answer: They're ALL temporary, of course, but I'm guessing the river will be around a few years longer than the other three.

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